Guest Author - Elizabeth Darrach
Hello and welcome back! Hope you´re all enjoying this truly springlike weather the northeastern portion of the country is getting. This is my kind of spring weather. And perfect for moving, which we´ll be doing next weekend. Anyone want to help pack my books? Or, worse yet, move them from the old house to the new? We may need a truck just for them. But I can´t give them up, so they must be moved.
How many of you go to booksignings when there is one scheduled locally? Or maybe not so locally, depending on how far out in the country you live. Though we consider our home to be in the country--we live in the heart of Amish country--there are four bookstores within fifteen miles of us, and they´re all big, national chain stores. But sometimes the best signings are the ones at the smaller stores, or even at writers´ conferences. Getting the chance to chat with one of your favorite authors is very exciting, but trust me: the authors love it, too.
The largest signing I´ve attended is, of course, the one at the Romantic Times convention last fall. There were hundreds of authors all in one huge room. It was amazing, and I loved that I got to chat with so many at one go. Other than the national RWA conference each year, there aren´t any others with nearly as many attendees in our genre. I spent well over an hour and a half moseying through the aisles, and I could have spent way longer if I didn´t feel guilty for making other readers wait till I was done talking. Not all of the readers have the same feelings of guilt, however: I spent ten minutes in line for one of the big name authors to sign one of my books while the woman ahead of me unloaded a wheeled suitcase. Heck, I would have talked to some of the authors for days and days, about their books, about writing, about their favorite authors....
A better way to get to chat with your favorite authors, or even to discover new authors, is to visit the local booksignings. Most of the chain stores have monthly schedules that are free for the taking, and list all of their activities for the coming month. It doesn´t hurt to make friends with the staff in the store either. They´ll be happy to let you know when they have something coming up that you´d be interested in.
Also, keep an eye on the arts section of your local paper. Many events will be listed there. For example, one of my local writing groups just hosted a conference last weekend. The listing of our booksigning was in the paper in two separate spots, and our authors were thrilled to have people coming in from outside the conference. Many local writing groups arrange signings when they have events occurring, and they all want to generate as much interest as possible. Some even have mailing lists for potential guests.
And don´t forget the authors themselves. Many have websites with their events schedules or mailing lists for newsletters. And if they don´t, it can´t hurt to contact them to ask them to let you know when they´ll be signing somewhere.
Until next week, happy reading!